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Death to Boring B2B Marketing: How Applying Design Thinking Drives Success

Somewhere along the line, B2B marketing became less of an exercise in creativity and more a balancing act in the dark. Endless tools, contradictory best practices, and mind-numbing levels of optimization dominate the modern marketer’s day-to-day. After all, you still have to hit objective goals to prove your worth to the business—even though it’s almost impossible to know how each decision and effort impacts the overall outcome.

So, you play it safe. You administer tools instead of creating and experimenting. And you miss opportunities to truly excel, because just hitting your numbers is hard enough. No more! It’s time for you to do what you do best again: fearlessly connect with your target market and build empowered customers.

The principles and methods of "design thinking” will equip you to reorient around more audacious goals and pursue a higher level of creativity and risk. Embrace collaboration, conversation, ideation, and testing to find hidden opportunities—all without jeopardizing the good you’ve done so far.

Let’s put tools in their place and be unboring together.

Death to Boring B2B Marketing: How Applying Design Thinking Drives Success

  1. 1. @CLIFFSEAL deathto boriNgB2B MARKETING
  2. 2. haRd B2B MARKETING IS @CLIFFSEAL
  3. 3. SELLING TO OPAQUE GROUPS TRACKING AGAINST QUANTITATIVE METRICS RISK AVERSION (RED TAPE) WHY? @CLIFFSEAL
  4. 4. @CLIFFSEAL
  5. 5. “What is the biggest problem marketers face?”
 “How to keep up with trends to drive higher quality leads.” @CLIFFSEAL Source: http:// www.slideshare.net/ MathewSweezey/the-future-of- marketing-2016-new-roles- tools-and-trends/
  6. 6. YOU END UP DOING WHAT “WORKS” @CLIFFSEAL
  7. 7. YOU END UP DOING THE SAME AS EVERYONE ELSE @CLIFFSEAL
  8. 8. #DEATHTOBORING @CLIFFSEAL
  9. 9. B2B MARKETING NEEDS TO @CLIFFSEAL Source: http://trackmaven.com/ blog/2016/05/b2c-b2b- marketing-research/ GROW INTO ITS OWN CREATIVE POTENTIAL
  10. 10. B2B MARKETING NEEDS TO @CLIFFSEAL PUT DATA IN ITS PLACE “High performers are 19x more likely to be able to create a single customer view.” Sources: http:// www.pardot.com/blog/ marketing-metrics-matter- vanity-metrics-trap/, http://www.slideshare.net/ MathewSweezey/why-your- content-is-failing-you-and-how- to-fix-it
  11. 11. B2B MARKETING NEEDS TO @CLIFFSEAL COMPETE ON RELEVANCE (NOT VOLUME) “We need to step back to our roots and become digital anthropologists, and digital psychologists.” 
 -Matt Lawson Director of Performance Marketing, Google Source: http:// www.slideshare.net/ MathewSweezey/the-future-of- marketing-2016-new-roles- tools-and-trends/
  12. 12. deSigN tHiNKiNg B2B MARKETING NEEDS @CLIFFSEAL
  13. 13. 13 WHAT’S DESIGN THINKING LOOK LIKE? It’s solution-oriented and creative instead of analytical. It’s trusted, exercised intuition at work. It means being human- centered and trusting the rest will follow. It values divergent thinking as much as convergent thinking. It means being non-judgmental about possibilities inside of constraints. @CLIFFSEAL It means embracing constraints. It means we let our best ideas rise to the top.
  14. 14. DESIGN THINKING PROVIDES A FRAMEWORK FOR INNOVATION @CLIFFSEAL
  15. 15. 15 @CLIFFSEAL Source: Designing for Growth, Jeanne Liedtka and Tim Oglivie
  16. 16. 16 @CLIFFSEAL Source: Designing for Growth, Jeanne Liedtka and Tim Oglivie
  17. 17. 17 @CLIFFSEAL Source: Designing for Growth, Jeanne Liedtka and Tim Oglivie
  18. 18. @CLIFFSEAL Source: Solving Problems with Design Thinking: Ten Stories of What Works, A. R. King, Jeanne Liedtka, and Kevin B. Bennett
  19. 19. @CLIFFSEAL Source: http:// www.bloomberg.com/news/ articles/2012-04-12/wring- the-most-out-of-a-trade-show, https://www.coursera.org/ learn/design-thinking- innovation/lecture/iq0kE/the- ibm-story Mission: Find a way for “trade shows to better demonstrate the depth and breadth of IBM’s expertise, strengthen customer relationships, and drive revenue growth”.
  20. 20. WHAT IS? @CLIFFSEAL
  21. 21. @CLIFFSEAL KNOW WHAT IS THROUGH SHARING KNOWLEDGE DISCUSSION IMMERSION SHARED LANGUAGE
  22. 22. KNOW WHAT IS THROUGH @CLIFFSEAL BETTER QUESTIONS 5 WHYS FIND INTERNAL ASSUMPTIONS DISCOVER NEW POSSIBILITIES
  23. 23. @CLIFFSEAL KNOW WHAT IS THROUGH TALKING TO ACTUAL PEOPLE INSIGHT OBSERVATION EMPATHY
  24. 24. @CLIFFSEAL Source: http:// www.bloomberg.com/news/ articles/2012-04-12/wring- the-most-out-of-a-trade-show, https://www.coursera.org/ learn/design-thinking- innovation/lecture/iq0kE/the- ibm-story Question: How do human beings engage and learn? Insight: ‣ Create comfort ‣ Plan spontaneity ‣ Create a guest-host relationship
  25. 25. WHAT IF? WHAT WOWS? @CLIFFSEAL
  26. 26. “Design thinking is the opposite of group thinking, but paradoxically, it takes place in groups. The usual effect of ‘groupthink,’ as William H. Whyte explained to the readers of Fortune back in 1952, is to suppress people’s creativity. Design thinking, by contrast, seeks to liberate it.” 
 - Tim Brown @CLIFFSEAL
  27. 27. EXPLORE WHAT IF THROUGH @CLIFFSEAL DEMOCRATIZING CREATIVITY DECENTRALIZE DIVERSIFY FACILITATE
  28. 28. DESIGN SPRINTS @CLIFFSEAL
  29. 29. 29 @CLIFFSEAL
  30. 30. @CLIFFSEAL 92% trust referrals from family and friends above all forms of advertising Source: http:// brandtosales.weareoctopusgro up.net/ og_techheads_2014_thehuman cio
  31. 31. @CLIFFSEAL TRY SPRINTING ABOUT GENERATING MORE CUSTOMER REFERRALS Ideate around how to provide that information to them and when. Build a prototype. What do customers need to become loyal? Put it in front of people and test the concept. Iterate as needed.
  32. 32. @CLIFFSEAL Source: http:// www.bloomberg.com/news/ articles/2012-04-12/wring- the-most-out-of-a-trade-show, https://www.coursera.org/ learn/design-thinking- innovation/lecture/iq0kE/the- ibm-story Question: How do human beings engage and learn? Approach: ‣ Concierge ‣ Conversation zones ‣ Cue from customer needs
  33. 33. WHAT WORKS? @CLIFFSEAL
  34. 34. “A culture that believes that it is better to ask forgiveness afterward rather than permission before, that rewards people for success but gives them permission to fail, has removed one of the main obstacles to the formation of new ideas.” 
 - Tim Brown @CLIFFSEAL
  35. 35. @CLIFFSEAL Being Wrongis Awesome
  36. 36. @CLIFFSEAL Source: http:// www.bloomberg.com/news/ articles/2012-04-12/wring- the-most-out-of-a-trade-show, https://www.coursera.org/ learn/design-thinking- innovation/lecture/iq0kE/the- ibm-story Experiment: ‣ Small trade show ‣ 78% increase in leads YOY Scaled Results: ‣ Increased lead quality ‣ Greater revenue ‣ Deeper engagement
  37. 37. @CLIFFSEAL “We are seeing more deep engagements, which is really important and pretty amazing. We are also seeing more revenue generation results. We’re having fewer, better transactions to the tune of multiples of sales year over year. IBMers are even saying that ten times the number of hot leads have come from these events, even if the total number of people coming through the space was lower.” Source: Solving Problems with Design Thinking: Ten Stories of What Works, A. R. King, Jeanne Liedtka, and Kevin B. Bennett
  38. 38. WHAT NEXT? @CLIFFSEAL
  39. 39. START BY @CLIFFSEAL REORIENTING AROUND GOALS TO BETTER TRACK SUCCESS
  40. 40. @CLIFFSEAL START BY FINDING AREAS RIPE FOR YOUR CREATIVITY & AUTOMATE THE REST
  41. 41. TRY SPRINTING ABOUT @CLIFFSEAL ACCOUNT-BASED MARKETING STRATEGY What defines your ideal (but realistic) account? Ideate around how to ensure relevance is infused. Build a prototype. Put it in front of people and test the concept. Iterate as needed. Experiment with 1-3 accounts.
  42. 42. @CLIFFSEAL TRY SPRINTING ABOUT BULLSEYE FRAMEWORK FOR LEAD GENERATION Prioritize the channels most likely to give a solid return Test your guesses using very small, inexpensive experiments “Double down” on what worked Brainstorm potential acquisition channels Source: Traction: A Startup Guide to Getting Customers, Gabriel Weinberg and Justin Mares
  43. 43. EVERYTHING SHOULD SUPPORT YOUR CREATIVE CONNECTION WITH YOUR CUSTOMERS @CLIFFSEAL
  44. 44. EVERYONE ELSE ENDS UP TRYING TO DO THE SAME AS YOU @CLIFFSEAL
  45. 45. @CLIFFSEAL deathto boriNgB2B MARKETING

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